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  #1    
Old February 8th, 2013, 02:06 AM
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Is it possible to develop passion in an area / field you have no particular interest in?

Discuss and expand upon this as you see fit.
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  #2    
Old February 8th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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Treat it like you're a five-year-old, when everything was incredible and worth learning (this got me through the dreadful and morally wrong economics courses). Switch the "I don't know" (with a tone of sadness) to "I don't know" (with a tone of excitement and possibility), and suddenly you look under the rock and find it wonderful to learn for learning's sake. In technical terms, "inspiration," is something that gets you from "can't do" to "can." So get inspired. Build something.

So yes, you can develop a passion for what you don't initially have if you can get to a point of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The first two come from skill in that particular area, so you'd have to shut your self-doubt down and dive in, even projecting a desired lifestyle that uses the skill as a foundation (motivating you to reach it). As my History of Imagination professor said, "Doubt your own intelligence, then use the HELL out of it." For instance, I wasn't into coding; I loathed how hard it was for me. Yet, day after day, step after step, knowing that world-class skills would land me world-class opportunities, things were built. That's an incredible feeling.

Also, before it comes up too regularly, "find your passion" is a desease of a phrase that will drag you to back to your cubicle hopeless, only allowing for spurts of motivation where nothing gets done. Or worse, it dangerously leads you to believe that you can just exit your current life to a completely and drastically different industry without getting some horrible scars (ie. all the suits that go out of their mind, jump to opening a dance studio thinking it might be there passion and then end up just as miserable). Look for adjacencies. Stay somewhere until you build the skill and autonomy to try on the next thing. This mistake even happens with chief officers, when Ron left Apple to go to JCPenny, thinking he could radically change their fortunes and the industry, he made decisions — like removing coupons — that tanked stocks more than 40 percent. Those stories the internet conjures up about people who magically fell in love with something, radically changed, and everything worked out perfectly are rare. We think it happens more often because we don't hear so often of all the failures that happen each day.

How vague and full of platonic ideal, "find your passion," making you feel as though nothing is ever good enough. It's why people think their major has some end-all significance — kids freaking out about a title with 60 years ahead of them. Pick something you want to learn and soak it up; don't know? Spread your reach like wildfire. Build some skills on the side so the job market doesn't carve you up and viola. Go after a lifestyle, go after honor, go after a remarkable life. Many exciting paths can get you there instead of one particular, almost-soul-mate-like, "passion" or ultimate decision that sets everything in stone. Things are really not so hopelessly narrow in a world of abundance. Once you "get" that, holy Hades, you got it kid.

I know this position isn't taken easily, but when we look at remarkable lives over (Yes, even Steve Jobs), we see a combination of luck and skill, not this awesome serendipitous moment where you suddenly know your calling, change everything, and are able to take it to outer-worldly levels. Try everything, repeat what you love. Place many small bets on a lot of different things while you've got something that's your rock — for me, my writing (English major) is my rock as I dabble in investing (Economics major) & high-level mathematics.

Learn something the world would love for you to learn, and that you'd like to take a stab at, too — you're more welcome at the table when you bring something. Bring energy and they'll enjoy lunch. Bring energy and value and they'll ask you to stay for dinner.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:44 AM
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BeachBoy pretty much summed it all up. Although I have a few small opinions to add to the discussion:

If you don't know if you're interested in something or not it is impossible for you to have a passion about it. You can counteract this statement by saying something along the lines of "You can be passionate about learning about it because you don't know anything about it" but in reality you are just passionate about gaining more knowledge. You're not necessarily passionate about that specific subject.

Of course I'm using the scenario in which you are passionate before you have interest into a subject. You can however by branching out and trying new things develop over time a passion for new hobbies.

An example: I recently was not in the slightest bit interested in getting tattoo's but all of a sudden I started noticing them on people and decided I liked them. Now I have a plethora of new tattoo ideas but lack the funds to put them on me.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Drakow View Post
Is it possible to develop passion in an area / field you have no particular interest in?
I don't feel I'm a very passionate person so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I think it's easy enough to develop an interest in something. Anything might catch your attention in just the right way where you want to know more about it. The recent James Bond movies made we want to watch all the movies and I did, but now I'm not really that into them. If that kind of short-term interest is what you'd call passion then I feel passionate all the time, but if passion is more of a sustained effort then I'll defer to my previous statement.

I think to develop a passion for something you're not interested in you've got to be an open person, a risk-taker, and have the willpower to do something you don't really like for a long time. After a while it'll probably start to feel better since you're more familiar with it, and your confidence will go up. It's a lot easier to do something you feel confident about and the more you do something the better you'll get.

I've lost my train of thought. I can't remember if I was going to make some point with all that now.
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Old February 13th, 2013, 11:21 AM
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Nobody started off a huge fan of <insert thing here>. Passion is something I think you have to cultivate, you have to show interest first and then make it a passion if you feel strongly enough about it. As to the question, I think it's possible to generate an interest in something you don't have an interest in, provided that you're willing to try something new and to give it a chance.
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Old February 16th, 2013, 11:26 PM
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Whether you realise it or not, you have a passion for everything. It just varies to different extents.
Even things you hate, you've got a passion for it. (Hence the term 'Hate with a passion')
Boiling it down to such, passion becomes merely a matter of inclination and in turn, perspective.
And as we all may know, anything can be beautiful in the right light.
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Old February 18th, 2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Livewire View Post
Nobody started off a huge fan of <insert thing here>. Passion is something I think you have to cultivate, you have to show interest first and then make it a passion if you feel strongly enough about it. As to the question, I think it's possible to generate an interest in something you don't have an interest in, provided that you're willing to try something new and to give it a chance.
So true! I think the most important thing is to keep an open mind and be positive - learn to love. That way you can have a passion for anything and everything, and also enjoying life to the fullest along the way. I think that's what it means.

Although your ability to do that is obviously limited to a combination of factors arising from your genetic predisposition as well as the environment in which you grew up. Sorry, the downer was necessary
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